Bloomberg News

Russia Stocks Slide for 2nd Day on U.S. Jobless and Sales Data

January 12, 2012

Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Russian stocks erased gains, falling for a second day, after U.S. reports showed more Americans than forecast filed for unemployment benefits and retail sales rose less than anticipated.

The 30-stock Micex Index fell 0.1 percent to 1,464.53 by the 6:45 p.m. close in Moscow, erasing an earlier advance of as much as 1.3 percent. OAO Transneft, Russia’s oil pipeline monopoly operator, sank 3.5 percent while OAO Sberbank, the nation’s biggest lender, lost 0.8 percent. The dollar- denominated RTS Index added 0.4 percent to 1,458.24.

U.s. Labor Department figures today showed jobless claims climbed by 24,000 to 399,000 last week, higher than the median forecast of 46 economists in a Bloomberg News survey of 375,000, curbing appetite for riskier assets. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index pared gains after the data was published. Sales at U.S. retailers in December rose less than forecast, restrained by cheaper fuel prices and holiday discounting.

The Russian market “depends on global factors,” Alexander Branis, Moscow-based chief investment officer at Prosperity Capital, which manages about $5 billion in assets in Russia and the former Soviet Union, said by phone today. “It’s hard to say if the bounce will continue.”

Russian stocks have rallied 4.4 percent this year, compared with a 4.1 percent gain for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

Cheapest BRIC

The Micex trades at 5.5 times analysts’ earnings estimates for member companies, the lowest among the so-called BRIC nations, which include Brazil, India and China. The index plunged 17 percent in 2011, compared with an 18 percent slide for Brazil’s Bovespa index, which trades at 9.4 times estimated earnings according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Shanghai Composite Index trades at 9.3 times estimated earnings, and the BSE India Sensitive Index has a ratio of 14.

United Co. Rusal, the world’s biggest aluminum producer, added 1.5 percent to 209.05 rubles. OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, which also produces copper, advanced 2 percent to 5,357 rubles.

Metals including copper and nickel rose in London as figures showing Chinese inflation cooled to a 15-month low fed speculation the government may have room to ease monetary policy in an effort to spur growth.

-- Editors: Peter Branton, Gavin Serkin

To contact the reporters on this story: Jason Corcoran in Moscow at jcorcoran13@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net


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